Dominican, Gordon Henderson blazing a trail with Exile

Gordon Henderson

Gordon Henderson

Paris-based Gordon Henderson, is the leader and founder of the famous musical group Exile One, and the one who coined the name Cadence-lypso– “a synthesis of Caribbean rhythmic patterns.” Combining Haitian cadence and the Anglo-calypso music with Creole, Cadence-lypso revolutionized Caribbean music.

The Institute of Caribbean Studies will honor Gordon Henderson at the 22nd Annual Caribbean American Heritage Awards Gala on November 22, 2015.

His band Exile One has visited every Caribbean country on a regular basis to perform and has become a household name in several African and European countries. and the islands of the Indian Ocean. It holds record licenses in Jamaica, Barbados, Columbia, and Japan among other places.

In 1975, Exile One became the first Creole act to sign with a major recording contract when it signed with the French label Barclay, today part of Universal. Exile One went on to sell gold records.

Also a songwriter, a Brazilian version of his “Jamais voir ça” sold over 2.5 million copies. It was recorded by Carlos Santos as “Quero Voce.”

From a teenager, Gordon Henderson has been in love with music and the arts. Henderson’s musical career began with short stints with various teenage bands performing at talent shows and dances around the island of Dominica, where he was born. In the late sixties, he formed his own quartet called “Voltage Four” patterned on American group “Booker T and the MGs” or the “Meters,” and mainly toured the French Islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe.

In 1970, Henderson moved to Guadeloupe to become the lead singer of “Les Vikings” of Guadeloupe, a group which toured the French Departments of Guiana, Martinique, St. Martin and Metropolitan France.

He has helped to develop other artists like Ophelia, a fellow Dominican, known as the Creole lady of song. He has also chartered radio stations in France and the U.S. Henderson created Tropic FM in Paris, a radio station now known as Media Tropical targeting the Caribbean Diaspora in France. He also produced and hosted a TV show called “Feel the World Beat” that was broadcast on selected PBS stations in the U.S. and the RFO-SAT network.

In his native Dominica, he spearheaded the creation of The World Creole Music Festival, an annual international music event featuring the best performers of Creole music.

Today, Henderson continues to tour the world with Exile One.

Source: Institute of Caribbean Studies

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